Speaking today at the WEF meeting in Davos, HSBC Group chairman Stephen Green called for the setting up of a “Business 20″ – or B20 – forum comprised of the world’s largest companies, including those in the developing world, with a focus on those with international operations.
The body, which would mirror the G20 group of the world’s largest economies, would not be a lobby group but would provide a forum to “help inform policy and create more a stable global economy,” Green said. “It will be non-partisan. It will promote open markets. It will be the voice of sustainable business.”
Green added that the proposal has the support of the current chair of the G20, the UK government.
It’s certainly an intriguing idea. But the potential for an almighty squabble as companies compete to be included is enormous.
Deciding who gets to be in the G20 is ticklish enough and that only involves selecting 20 countries from a possible 200 or so. How much more tricky would it be to find a consensus on which 20 companies should be in the B20 from a sample size of thousands?